Legal experts today said there are options within the legal framework to retain one of the retiring judges in the three judge bench of the Allahabad High Court to deliver the verdict on the Ayodhya title suit.
They said if the Supreme Court interim stay stands beyond September 28, there is a constitutional provision to retain the judge, D V Sharma who retires this month-end by appointing him as an adhoc judge till he signs the judgement.
Former Law Minister Shanti Bhushan and noted constitutional expert P P Rao said such a ocassion will not arise as there are all likelihood that the Chief Justice of India will appoint a three-judge bench to hear the matter on Tuesday and two days will be there for the High Court to deliver its verdict before one of the judges retires.
"The situation which has arisen today due to difference of opinion between the two judges will not arise when a larger bench will hear the issue," they said adding that if in any chance there is a delay, government can retain the retiring judge by appointing him adhoc judge.
Rao said another option is that the judge, who is retiring during the pendency of the matter can sign the judgement and place before the Chief Justice of the High Court in a sealed envelope, which could be opened if the apex court gives a go ahead to the High Court to pronounce the verdict.
However, senior advocate K K Venugopal, who had appeared in the apex court on the Ayodhya dispute in 1992 when Kalyan Singh was the Chief Minister, said such a situation would not arise.
He said he was hopeful that the verdict will come before the retirement of the judge.
"There are all likelihood that the CJI will constitute a three-member bench to avoid the situation like today when there was a split of opinion between the two judges. The three judges will decide the issue on Tuesday giving sufficient time to the High Court to deliver the verdict before the retirement of one of its judges," Venugopal said.